Thomas Dekker pledges to testify in Dutch doping investigation
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Thomas Dekker pledges to testify in Dutch doping investigation

by Shane Stokes at 11:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Dutchman said to be Clasicomano Luigi in Operaction Puerto documents

Thomas DekkerIn the wake of recent disclosures of drug use by former members of the Rabobank team, Thomas Dekker has pledged to help the current enquiry being conducted by the Dutch Anti-Doping Authority.

The 28 year old rode with the team early in his career, spending two years with the youth team and then racing with the pro squad between 2005 and 2008. He then moved to Silence Lotto, but was hit by a lengthy ban after a sample from December 2007 was retested and EPO was detected.

He returned to competition in 2011 with the Chipotle Sugarlabs team and then rode last year with the Garmin WorldTour squad.

“'As member of Team Garmin-Sharp and their policy and values, as Dutch rider and member of the Dutch federation, as ex-doper who served a two years suspension and as supporter of clean cycling: I announce that I will testify and fully cooperate with the Dutch Anti-Doping Authority to help further clean the world of cycling,” he said today in a statement. “Therefore I choose to give the full extent of my knowledge, names, dates and details.

“There are many details and people involved with my doping past. All of that, including the names of people who helped me will be given to the Anti-Doping Authority. I will begin this process and hope that it will make it easier for ex-colleagues and ex-teammates to come forward and help the sport.'”

The news comes as NRC reports that he worked with the controversial Eufemiano Fuentes in 2006, the year the Spanish doctor was arrested in connection with Operacion Puerto.

A raid on Fuentes’ Madrid clinic uncovered multiple blood bags and doping products. As a result many riders were sidelined, including Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso and Alejandro Valverde.

Fuentes, his sister Yolanda, Dr. José Luis Merino Batres, the trainer Ignacio Labarta and previous team managers Manolo Saiz (Once/Liberty Seguros) and Vicente Belda (Kelme) will go on trial next week in connection to that case.

Basso, Alberto Contador, Michele Scarponi, Jörg Jaksche and other riders will be called as witnesses, although they will not be charged.

At the time, there was no Spanish law against doping. Prosecutors will seek to have those on trial convicted of crimes against public health.

WADA director general David Howman said this week that he was frustrated that cycling is the only sport that has been scrutinised in relation to Operacion Puerto. Soccer, basketball, tennis and athletics were also rumoured to be involved, but no names have emerged.

Unlike the UCI, the national and international federations of those sports have shown little willingness to chase up the identities of the sportspeople in question. Fuentes himself said that he was frustrated by the fact that cycling received all of the negative press.

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